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City news, 15.08.2005 13:11

St. Petersburg Lawmaker Suggests Constitution Amendment Allowing Third Term for Putin

V. Putin Lawmaker of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly has brought in an initiative to change the Russian Constitution provisions on the third presidential term.

Igor Rimmer made a project of a bill on an amendment to the Constitution in order to increase the terms of the Russian president’s authorities.

Rimmer’s version of this amendment reads that “one and the same person cannot hold the post of the Russian president for more than three consecutive terms,” Interfax news agency reported. Currently, it is impossible for a person to be president for more than two terms in a row. Vladimir Putin’s second term expires in March 2008.

Earlier, a group of deputies of the local legislature in the Russian Far East region of Primorye had drafted amendments to the Constitution enabling Putin to run for the third term. They said that the effective constitution contained contradiction and should be amended. In accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution, citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to vote and run for government posts if they are legally capable and are not serving a prison sentence passed by a court of law. However, Article 81, paragraph 3, says that one and the same person cannot hold the post of the Russian president for more than two consecutive terms. In other words, one article does not impose any limitations while another one does, one of the deputies said.

Putin has recently said that he “maybe would like to” (run for president in 2008) but the Constitution did not permit to do so.

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